Broncos corral three big names to beef up porous secondaryDeMarcus Ware boarded a plane for Denver on Wednesday morning, looked in the row across from him and saw a sleeping Aqib Talib. Yep, the Broncos mean business.
Before Ware even had a chance to sit down with Broncos boss John Elway, he saw exactly how serious the team was about fixing its defense.
Ware became Denver’s latest defensive addition in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $30 million deal. That’s $110 million - $60 million guaranteed - for Ware, safety T.J. Ward and Talib, the last two of whom signed Tuesday.
“They’re trying to make a statement - a statement we’re a team to be reckoned with,’’ said the 31-year-old Ware. “Their mentality is a ‘now’ mentality.”
Out of work less than 24 hours, Ware wasn’t fully intending to agree to a deal right away with Denver when he flew into town. But he was persuaded by Elway, the Hall of Fame quarterback turned executive who stressed to Ware the Broncos’ commitment to defense even with a prolific offense led by Peyton Manning.
And Elway got his man - again. He did so two years ago with Manning and last offseason with Wes Welker.
It’s really no surprise the Broncos are concentrating on defense in the wake of a 43-8 loss to Seattle in the Super Bowl last month. Ware thinks the trio of new players brings not only leadership, but a level of physicality to the field. Denver’s defense surrendered nearly 25 points a game last season, 22nd in the league.
Talib flew in from Dallas on the same flight as Ware, not realizing it until halfway through the trip. He was ecstatic to later hear Elway enticed Ware to join the Broncos.
Ware was let go Tuesday by Dallas in a salary-cap move. He had a franchise-record 117 sacks for the Cowboys since being drafted in the first round in 2005. He had a career-low six sacks last season and missed games for the first time in his career because of a thigh injury.
He underwent offseason surgery to fix his elbow.
Now that Ware’s healthy again, he’s ‘’going to be able to get after the passer,’’ Elway said.
No doubt, especially playing opposite Von Miller. This was a rough season for Miller, beginning with a six-game drug suspension and ending with a torn ACL on Dec. 22.